Stripped down intimate piano shorts
Gabríel Ólafs ‘Piano Works’ is part of a deconstruction series from label One Little Indian. The idea is for artists to revisit their music and break down previous releases into stripped back, laid bare or reworked arrangements to show the skeleton of the melody. It is a fascinating idea and one that I think could warrant some fantastic artistic displays. Gabríel Ólafs, as a piano first composer, might be more of a difficult sell but ‘Piano Works’ simply put – works.
The eight tracks present here are all short, rolling melodies that focus on a personal intimate collection. In a style that is very European, the piano is constantly in motion, trickling notes at all times. That may initially sound like that would make for a busy arrangement but Gabríel is barely touching the keys. The hammers and the felt are vibrant in the mix. It is the kind of warm clarity that evokes emotion and you could easiily hear a pin drop.
Whilst each track effortlessly moves into another and its best to listen to the collection as a whole, a couple of tracks really stood out for me. ‘Filma solo’ and ‘Mosi’ in particular are beautifully presented and embody so much about what I love about soft piano compositions. They are reflective, contemplative and inviting.
Fans of Gabríel Ólafs will lap this up but fans of modern classical piano will find this a great and easy entry point too. It is short, bittersweet and beautifully poetic.
Recommended track: Filma solo
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